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Contemplation Nation: How Ancient Practices Are Changing the Way We Live (on Amazon.com)alt

Explore ways that contemplative practices including prayer, meditation, mindfulness, and spiritual direction are transforming personal lives and society at large. Spiritual Directors International Executive Director, Liz Budd Ellmann, MDiv contributed a chapter titled,  Contemplative Practice and the Enrichment, Formation, and Training of Spiritual Directors.

Guest Author: 
Liz Budd Ellmann, MDiv

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During the month of August, you might greet Muslims saying Ramadan Kareem! which means “May your Ramadan be Blessed!” Kareem translates to mean more than a personal blessing. Kareem includes the anticipation that the spiritual practices of all Muslims during Ramadan will usher in a new era of peace, hope, and generous compassion for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Al-Kareem is one of the ninety-nine most beautiful names of Allah, the Arabic word for God. Al-Kareem translates to The Generous. Another way of understanding the greeting Ramadan Kareem! would be:  May the spiritual formation of Muslims during Ramadan create a world of generosity and blessing!

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Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is.
In the boredom and pain of it, no less than the excitement and gladness:
touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it,
because in the last analysis all moments are key moments,
and life itself is pure grace.
    Frederick Buechner, Now and Then: A Memoir of Vocation

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Guest Author: 
Sally Taylor

Dalai Lama and Cardinal WuerlReligious harmony has long been a calling card for His Holiness the Dalai Lama. During his teachings this week in Washington DC, there was a delightful moment when he welcomed on stage Roman Catholic Cardinal Wuerl. Cardinal Wuerl welcomed him warmheartedly to Washington, DC, and they recounted together their first meeting in Assisi, Italy on the occasion of Pope John Paul II’s historic interfaith gathering for peace.

Christians submit themselves to God and God’s will, and work to benefit others. Buddhists understand cause and effect as fundamental aspects of reality: if you do good to others, benefits result. If you do harm, difficulties arise. Both traditions teach the value of benefitting others in our actions for the good of others and of ourselves.

Guest Author: 
Liz Budd Ellmann, MDiv

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Lightly Cupped Hands

Jean Vanier founded worldwide L’Arche communities where people with and without disabilities live together. Jean exquisitely describes how to hold another in relationship. He demonstrates how to have lightly cupped hands as if holding a tiny, fragile bird. Not too open so the bird tumbles out, and not grasping so the bird suffocates.

Lightly cupped hands support another while allowing freedom for change and transformation. Lightly cupped hands even allow another to fly away.

Guest Author: 
Sally Taylor

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Cultivating Compassion is nothing less, or more, than cultivating within the freedom from suffering inevitably part of our human existence.  Freedom begins with cultivating the wish for this freedom and grows into compassion, which is that increasing capacity to bring about the realization of freedom from suffering.

On the 76th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, he allowed this occasion to be used by friends, far and wide, to express their gratitude and devotion to him whose life is devoted to cultivating inner freedom for , and in, all beings.

Compassion is not something he DOES.  He IS compassion.

Being in his presence inspires and encourages me, and the thousands here with me, that we too may grow the seeds of compassion in our own hearts.

 

Sally Taylor

at the Kalachakra Initiation, Washington DC

Guest Author: 

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"Cultivating Compassion in Community" July 2011, Vol 5.3 Listen: A Seeker's Resource for Spiritual Direction

SEEDS OF INTEREST:

Cultivating Compassion in Community --Pegge Erkeneff
Field Guide: The Fire In The Seeker --The Rev. Tilden Edwards, PhD
Field Notes: Agape Compassion --Sue Magrath, MC
Poetry: Guard Your Heart --Andrew Rudd
Art: Guard Your Heart --Claudia Campbell
Contemplative Practice
Global Resources
Ask Owl: Group Spiritual Direction

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SDI celebrates the Solstice with a poem from member John Pollard [Ontario, Canada]

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On the Bridge of the Present Moment (at Chapin Mill):
Home

On one side of the bridge water flows away
With it floats away the past, all of life's successes and failures
Self views, judgments of others, all being carried away
Released, let go, surrendered, relinquished

 

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Give a FREE gift to your community…
The 2012 print version of Seek and Find: A Worldwide Resource Guide of Available Spiritual Directors is published once a year, and it's coming soon!*

A complimentary gift ...
Would you like to share a printed copy of the 2012 Seek and Find Guide with someone in your community who would benefit from having a 2012 print version? Perhaps one of these places or people spark an idea in you:

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Spiritual direction helps us tell our sacred stories, and live into our deepest truth. Men and women benefit from good guides.

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Author Terry Patten believes, "The men’s movement is going through a major resurgence and evolutionary altruism is at the heart of it."

The description for a free online teleseminar, "The Way of the Evolutionary Man" explains:

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